Sports

Renowned referee Nigel Owens in town for charity gala dinner

Renowned referee Nigel Owens in town for charity gala dinner
Nigel Owens, seen here officiating the 2015 Rugby World Cup group tie between France and Ireland, will be making his first appearance here on Aug 12. He will be the keynote speaker at the Chiam See Tong Sport's Foundation's gala dinner which aims to raise about S$100,000 for the foundation’s activities in 2018. Photo: AFP
Published: 10:25 PM, July 15, 2017

SINGAPORE — Local rugby fans will be able to rub shoulders with Nigel Owens, the world’s best rugby referee, at the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation Charity Gala Dinner at the Fort Canning Hotel on Aug 12.

Owens will be making his first appearance here as the keynote speaker at the gala dinner, which aims to raise about S$100,000 for the foundation’s activities in 2018.

Former national swimmer Ang Peng Siong, who is chairman of the foundation’s board of directors, said: “We are honoured to have someone of Mr Nigel Owens’ stature assist us in our efforts to raise money for the foundation.

“This is our first fundraising event, and we hope to get as much support as possible so that we can help as many aspiring athletes as possible achieve their dreams.”

One of three professional referees in the Welsh Rugby Union, Mr Owens was the referee for the 2015 Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and Australia. He also won the World Rugby Referee Award at the 2015 World Rugby Awards, and is set to take his world record tally of international matches to 78 when he officiates the Rugby Championship test between New Zealand and South Africa on Sept 16.

Outside of the pitch, the popular Welsh sports personality is also a presenter of rugby-themed television shows, and his autobiography — Half Time — was released in November 2008. In June 2016, he was awarded an MBE (Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to the sport.

Mr Owens said in a statement on Friday (July 14): “I have heard so much about the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation and the work it has embarked on. It is a noble undertaking, and it is my honour to be a part of the inaugural fundraising effort in Singapore.

“I am looking forward to my visit to Singapore and to meet members of the sports and rugby fraternities.”

The foundation will also be auctioning sports paraphernalia and five paintings from local artist Ben Puah to raise funds.

Launched in March this year, the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation aims to help disadvantaged children and youth realise their sporting dreams. It is aiming to help at least 100 people in its first year.

Mr Chiam See Tong, the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Potong Pasir for 27 years and patron of the foundation, said: “The board and staff of the foundation have been working extremely hard since the launch and establishment of the foundation.

“Our key objective is to provide support for under-resourced athletes and families in Singapore, to help them fulfil their sporting dreams to be young Singaporean champions.

“I would like to offer a personal word of thanks to all our sponsors and partners who have pledged to support us.”

Visit the Foundation’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/chiamseetongsf for details on the auction items.

Interested parties can contact the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation at info@chiamseetongsf.org for information on table sales or sponsorship opportunities.